Tolls No More

30 Oct

The New York State Thruway Authority has voted to permanently cease the collection of tolls on the I-190. Yes, permanently.

The vote ends collections at the Ogden and Breckenridge toll plazas, and paves the way for their ultimate removal.

Under the plan, the toll barriers will remain in place, requiring motorists to slow down as they approach the booths. The booths will be removed next year.

The plan was worked out after it was agreed to use $14 million in pork barrel funds from the state Senate to cover the loss of a year’s worth of toll collections at the two toll barriers.

Huzzah! The removal of the tolls represents the end of a fiscal and psychological barrier between the city and the suburbs. Everyone wins…especially incumbent legislators who can claim a role in this moral victory.

On to more important topics, Which politician will claim the credit for bringing down the toll booths?

US Rep. Brian Higgins
Mayor Byron Brown
State Sen. Dale Volker
Erie County Clerk Dave Swarts
State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt

My money is on Higgins calling a presser at which the Democrats can all take turns patting each other on the back.

In reality, I think the Thruway Authority’s vote was swayed by the lawsuit filed by Carl Paladino and Erie County Executive Joel Giambra which had the chops to take down the tolls.

UPDATE: Chris Byrd has posted video of toll booth deconstruction.

UPDATE 2: Marc has the video from the press conference at which each politician battles for a share of the spotlight.

UPDATE 3: Marc‘s take on the political ass slapping that took place…

2 Responses to “Tolls No More”

  1. C. Byrd October 30, 2006 at 1:47 pm #

    I am wondering too who is going to take c r e d i t for it…

  2. westcoastperspective October 30, 2006 at 3:59 pm #

    Gee- they got those signs made quickly!
    Now get the booths removed before they’re tempted to reinstate the tolls.

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